Roaming Wyoming 701ing

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TexasStevo, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    My nephew KTMCarhart and I decided to lay some tracks down in Wyoming. We like the nomadic BDR roaming stuff but based on our past experiences, we are trying to include more technical tracks here and there, yet still cover good ground and experience different geology. He built this route plan, over a 1000 miles of dirt on our 1300 mile adventure. We are trucking from central Texas and leaving the truck in central Wyoming and doing a jacked up figure 8 through the state chasing mountains and deserts.

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    Now to the bike. I bought the 701 used last summer with some goodies. The pannier racks and saddle bags that came with it worked well for the typical BDR riding. But when trails deteriorate and I get in technical stuff, I get annoyed, the pack was just too wide/weight too far to the rear for my liking. As it turns out, I guess I am still wanting a big dirt bike more than an adventure bike on these types of rides. I think if you live in Texas, you need 3 bikes. But I am still married to my first wife, so I’ll have to regroup. Here is a pic of the rack and bags that came with the bike, as it was loaded for the New Mexico BDR loop ride that we did last Oct, trip report in this forum somewhere. That was my first longer week-plus trip living off a bike. You learn and make adjustments.

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    Since that trip, I have been on a mission to get the 701 leaner yet still carry some camping gear. I pulled the saddle bags/racks off. I looked into other rack options but don’t really see anything exactly like I want out there. I spent some brain cells working on my own rack design and was about to build it myself. But then in the spirit of going light, decided to drill directly into the plastics and did a homemade tail tidy to clean it up a bit. I used some Wolfman medium rollies I already had in my stash. Swapped my Wolfman rear duffle for a REI Osprey bag that had dimensions I liked and easier to access stuff. I went to a handle bar bag instead of a tank bag for my phone/charging duties, just couldn’t get use to the tank bag that came with the bike being in my way in the heat of battle. The bike also came with a Lynx light/tower, I did some tweaks to make it work better for me, part rally/part storage unit. Then just some solid maintenance and fresh meat before a big trip…..and geared it lower. Feeling good.

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    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. MazztheSpazz

    MazztheSpazz Been here awhile Supporter

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    Excellent! I rode around the Snowy Range this weekend on my X Challenge; pretty but nothing technical. Interested to see what you find! 20200815_122404.jpg
    #2
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  3. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    IN!!
    #3
  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Looking forward to following along this one! Nice job on the 701 and getting it sorted for lighter travel. Really interested in hearing what camping gear you packed as well as the rest of what you brought along.
    #4
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  5. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    Stop in Thermopolis for a free soak! Public hot springs, next to park and between commercial pools. They offer a soak for 20 minutes, and showers .
    #5
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  6. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    Thanks for passing along. My nephew use to live in Worland and has been to those springs. But we both tend to obsess about the ride more than chilling out, odds are we won't stop to smell the roses in Thermopolis when we pass through there mid day. End of day, my body might be all about it :-)
    #6
  7. Burro driver

    Burro driver dba John

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    Looking forward to this one. Dont see many Wyoming TRs!
    Free soak and shower in Saratoga too. Near Riverside on your route map.
    #7
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  8. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

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    In for this one. And we've done a LOT of technical riding on the 701, usually 2up and sometimes with luggage too. It's just a phenomenal bike.
    #8
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  9. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    Yep the 701 is a really good all around bike. I still struggle in the really rough stuff wishing I was on my 500 and on long trips in Texas with a lot of pavement, wish I was on a big twin. Nature of the beast, there is always compromise unless you are Jay Leno.

    A little more prep stuff. I’m happy with the bike but all this tight and light philosophy on the trail comes at a price. I will only have very minimal snacks/water, carry no spare fuel (I have about 5g between two tanks), ditched some camp comfort items, slimmed down some other “what if” stuff and only have very minimal clothes packed. We will drop down or pass through little towns every couple hundred miles or so and restock gas/snacks/water. I decided to upgrade my Zacspeed backpack from the Recon I have been abusing for several years to the Dakar. This gives me more temporary expandable space when we hit civilization to snag food/beverages for the evening, hopefully towards the end of the day in most cases. My attempt to keep the bike light/ride experience at a maximum for 80-90% of the day.

    upload_2020-8-18_6-47-52.png

    This trip we will loop back to our truck after being in the bush for several days, regroup, then head out for more days of abuse. That helped my brain not having as much MacGyver stuff with me on the bike. In addition, we are pulling a little trailer so we are going to bring backup bikes, why not. I would hate to be over a thousand miles from home, have a catastrophic bike failure that is a show stopper/adventure ending, all while my 500 is sitting in my garage pissed that I left him behind, poor little fella. So he quickly shed his single track skin and put on his adv digs in case he is called to duty.

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    We will see how this trip goes with these changes to my 701/packing. I know the way I have my stable outfitted that the 500 and 701 have a pretty good overlap. But the 701 is friendlier on longer adventure rides and I like keeping my 500 stock/skinny for normal trail riding with my kids. The 701 is me trying to find that balance of dirt oriented adventure bike that can handle some gnarl, as well as decent sections of slab, without spending bigger dollars building out a new “middle weight.” This trip should make up my mind if my stable stock is permanent. For now, bike is ready, last minute prep/loading going down. Sleep patterns being affected, really ready to get on with it.

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    #9
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  10. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Interested in hearing how this plays out. No desire to derail into the 'perfect' light-weight adventure bike, but I've been going back and forth on what direction to head for a couple years now. I ditched a 690 to get my little mule (WR250) and while I like how reliable she is, not enough oomph for some of the stuff I ride. And after doing ~390 highway miles in CA after doing the CABDR on it, I knew I needed something more. Have thought about the Honda 450, but the valve adjustment interval is stupid IMO. Would love a 500-600cc twin from Honda or Yamaha that wasn't stupidly heavy - that would be the long stuff bike. Then a single thumper in the 500 range from one the Japanese brands.

    In any event, safe travels as you make your way north @TexasStevo! Look forward to when kickstands go up and you're out in the sticks.
    #10
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  11. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Dig the setup on the 701. What will your nephew be riding?
    #11
  12. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    Liv2day----KTM is working on a new 500 twin if you haven't seen that. Not sure it will be aggressive enough, but it is coming. The 790 and T7 got my attention, but there are things I don't like about both compared to my weight/power of the 701. Goes back to having 3 bikes....but I'm trying to avoid that. As far as little bikes, my 500 has the same basic valve intervals as the Honda 450. I have checked it twice in 7000 miles, no adjustment needed. I don't race it or drive around rodding it out all the time, but I am not afraid to haul the mail when the situation calls for it, especially desert riding. I've been religious about oil changes and air filters. Bike hasn't missed a beat, ever. If you like attributes of the WR250 and enjoyed some of the 690 flare, the EXC 500 type bike would probably be really good for you. I bought my 2014 XCW new but I don't know that I would get a new EXC, probably look for a clean 2012-2016....the Honda 450 seems nice as well, just heavier. Having two sets of tires/wheels would be cool, along with the stock tank and a big 5 gallon tank. That 500 is really versatile and can change hats pretty easily.

    Ginger Beard----Nephew bike, he will be on a 2010 690. We like having similar bikes for whatever terrain we are tackling. He has been waiting to see if I jumped on the "middle weight" twin band wagon, he would trade up. But if I don't, he is probably going to sell the 690 and get a newer 690 or 701.....or EXC 500. He has an older KTM 450 for when we ride single track and I am on my 500.....but it is an older 450 and getting a little battle worn.
    #12
  13. michaellmcc

    michaellmcc Been here awhile

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    Thanks for setting the scene, describing your bike and plan, and I look forward to seeing your RR from time to time!

    I'm heading up to ride the WYTAT in early September...big bike, no truck, no trailer. I don't see much overlap between your route and the TAT. BTW, I've ridden most of your blue track (I think) in the Big Horns and it's great.

    Good riding!

    Mike
    #13
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  14. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    Right on brother!! Good luck with your trip. We should both see some majestic stuff. I'm ready to kick this off, good stuff to come.
    #14
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  15. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    We are heading out of Texas for Wyoming, putting down some big miles in the truck. Didn’t somebody famous say I’ll sleep when I’m dead? Had to look it up, that is a Warren Zevon song. Benjamin Franklin had the original iteration, “There will be sleeping enough in the grave.” That reminds me of money, guns and lawyers. I must go now.

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    #15
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  16. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Now that's one fun looking trailer! Safe travels as you make your way north, hope it's an uneventful trek and you're unloading before you know it. BTW - interesting looking rig - custom job on what was the bed? Looks like she was truncated a bit?
    #16
  17. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    All is going well, rolling into Pueblo for some grub, about 2 hours from our destination in Denver for the night. Flat bed, yes custom bed on my nephew’s truck, his tricky uncle built it from scratch.
    #17
  18. Jory

    Jory Really? Is it Really?

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    IN... This is going to be brilliant!
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  19. LittleBooger

    LittleBooger n00b

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    Take care of that Green Machine
    Can’t wait to hear all of the stories!
    Be safe!
    #19
  20. TexasStevo

    TexasStevo Adventurer

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    Hopefully the green machine never comes off the trailer, we drinking big orange coolaid, and the big blue coolaid in disguise. Appreciate the well wishes, night night little booger.
    #20
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